The ALS Association

In Loving Memory of My Father

Joan Z. Chandler, Arizona

ALS. Yes we heard Lou Gehrig passed from that dreadful disease many years ago. We never imagined our father, my mother's childhood sweetheart and married for over 50 years would be diagnosed with the same dreadful disease. Our story started the end of 2011, when my brother, mother and father went to see a neurologist in New York City, after being miss diagnosed earlier in the year by another physician. He had been experiencing balance issues, falling, change in his voice, choking and even shortness of breath. To re-confirm that diagnosis that we wished so terribly hard was not the true diagnosis, mom and dad came to Arizona to see an ALS specialist. February of 2012 the same diagnosis was given, a death sentence. Dad fought so hard, and he tried to continue to live a normal life, as normal as possible. My brothers and I tried so hard to look for other alternatives to the one medication he was given. We didn't find much except for research that was being done. We all tried our best to support dad, moving him when he could no longer use a walker or wheelchair. Mom and I used a feeding tube to nourish him, because ALS took away his ability to eat and drink. How I remember the look on his face when we did, so very sad. How we missed hearing him talk, because he could no longer speak. Reading notes he wrote, until he could no longer write at the very end. A man that was hardly ever sick, worked hard all his life, passed in 2013, a little over a year after the second diagnosis was received. His last moments he was surrounded by his loving family. ALS took away the most loving husband, father and grandfather. By reading this, I hope you will share the symptoms of ALS with your family and community. Help us bring awareness to a disease that is absolutely dreadful, take a few minutes to read about it, help us educate and create a world without ALS. Better pain management, new medication, I'm praying for a cure. In loving memory of my father, John.

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